Oncology Specialty Residency

Shanna Block, Oncology Director

Shanna Block, Oncology Director

Welcome! I am so glad you stopped by our site to inquire about our PGY2 Oncology pharmacy residency program. We have SO much to offer, let me tell you a little bit about it…

UC San Diego Health is an NCCN and NCI designated cancer center that will be able to provide you experience in ANY cancer type and in a robust variety of hematological disorders. Our program is structured to provide you experience in both inpatient and outpatient hematology/oncology along with rotations in pain & palliative care, investigational drug services, retail/specialty hematology/oncology pharmacy and academia. The majority of our preceptors are BCOP certified and excited about their role as preceptors for our residents. UC San Diego Health is a large academic medical center educating students, residents and fellows in many disciplines which will provide you the opportunity to educate these learners as well both in the medical center and in the classroom as lecturer and case conference leader. Graduates of our PGY2 Oncology program will be well equipped for jobs in any faucet of oncology and will possess the knowledge to sit for the BCOP exam. Our close-knit pharmacy family works together to get the job done and values a team player. We hope you make the decision to join team UCSD!

Program Summary

  • Residency Positions Available Per Year
    1 resident is accepted each year
  • Stipend
    The current annual stipend is approximately $54,000.
  • Beginning Date
    August 1st (matched residents must be licensed pharmacists in the State of California before starting the residency year and no later than November 1st)
  • Application Procedure
    1. Graduated from an accredited school of pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree
    2. Successfully completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 pharmacy practice residency
    3. Obtained California pharmacy licensure prior to beginning residency. The residency offer will be rescinded if the resident does not receive a testing date prior to August 1st or is not licensed by November 1st.

    Application found on PhORCAS at http://www.ashp.org/phorcas.

  • Application Deadline
    December 31

Program Contact

Shanna Block, PharmD, BCOP
PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy Residency Director

Resident Contacts

Program Overview

Program Overview Oncology

Residency Program Purpose

Pharmacy residents completing the UC San Diego Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2) Oncology Pharmacy Practice Residency will be described as advanced practitioners who are equipped to be fully integrated members of the interdisciplinary hematology/oncology team and able to make complex medication, including chemotherapy, recommendations in this environment. The resident will engage in various learning experiences, allowing them to understand and appreciate the implications of medication therapy used in various disease states commonly encountered in this patient population. At the completion of the PGY2, the resident will have mastered the skills of writing and evaluating a chemotherapy order; in addition to managing preparation, distribution, and disposal of hazardous medications. They will demonstrate leadership and practice management skills, and develop proficiency in communication through educating other health care professionals, patients, and students on hematology/oncology issues. Graduates of our program will have developed the skills necessary to conduct a hematology/oncology pharmacy research project, precept students/residents, and serve on a multidisciplinary committee. These marketable job skills that will prepare them for career opportunities in any hematology/oncology setting for any health care organization and provide the background necessary to achieve board certification in oncology (if so desired).

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Required Learning Experiences

  • Orientation/training: 2-4 weeks (duration determined by the resident’s previous work experience)
  • Core rotations: Inpatient Oncology – 2 months; Inpatient Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant/Malignant Hematology – 2 months; Outpatient Infusion Center – 1 month; Outpatient Clinics – 3 months
  • Electives: Choose 2 – Outpatient Cancer Center Retail Pharmacy, Pain & Palliative Care, Investigational Drug Service, Infectious Disease, Cancer Center Administration (1 month each elective; may repeat any of the core rotations)
  • Staffing: 16 weekends throughout the year including 1 minor holiday, plus 1 major holiday, possible weekday staffing based on rotation
  • Research project and publication (may get 2-4 weeks research time – schedule permitting)


Teaching is a large component of our program. PGY2 residents will have many opportunities to precept/teach and their training will include learning how to incorporate teaching into their clinical responsibilities. UC San Diego is a teaching institution affiliated with UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) and UCSD School of Medicine. The PGY2 resident will have multiple opportunities to precept 4th year SSPPS pharmacy students and PGY1 pharmacy practice residents, as well as to work with UCSD physician interns, residents and fellows on most, if not all, rotations. In addition, the resident will be asked to give many educational lectures to their colleagues throughout their residency year.

Grand Rounds: The resident will deliver a 1-hour CE lecture to the pharmacy staff regarding a topic in oncology. Allied health professionals are welcome to attend. Presentations are accredited for continuing education through California Accreditation for Pharmacy Education (CAPE).

BCOP Lecture Series: Residents are required to present 2-4 lectures (45 minutes in length) on various topics relevant to the material covered in the Board Certification in Oncology (BCOP) exam. These lectures will be presented monthly by the Oncology PGY2s and fellows in the San Diego area. This lecture series is meant to encourage the PGY2s/fellows to begin preparation to take the BCOP exam when they are eligible and allow them to network with other oncology specialists in the area.

Journal Clubs: The resident will present oncology related journal clubs to the pharmacy staff/students 4 times throughout the year (2 on inpatient rotations and 2 on outpatient rotations)

Skagg’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Involvement with UCSD’s School of Pharmacy will vary. The resident will act as a conference leader for the 3rd year therapeutics course in which the oncology topics are covered. The resident may be asked to give a lecture, write cases for this therapeutics course, or prepare exam questions based on the lectures presented. Residents will also have multiple opportunities to directly precept 4th year pharmacy students who are currently on rotation with them

San Diego Pharmacy Residency Leadership Teaching Certificate Program

    PGY2 residents have the option of participating in the San Diego Pharmacy Residency Leaders (SDPRL) Teaching Certificate Program which includes a seminar series with residents from other county-wide residency programs. Seminar topics will focus on teaching and preceptor development. Alternatively, residents may select certain seminars to attend based on their interest areas.


    The resident will be involved in 2 research projects throughout the academic year. In order to facilitate approval from our Investigational Review Board (IRB) the major project will be started for the incoming resident by the outgoing resident (ie IRB submission completed except background section which is the responsibility of incoming resident) then the resident will complete data collection, analysis, and presentation of results. The minor project will be chosen toward the end of the year by the newly matched resident then the current resident will complete the IRB submission. This process allows the resident to see all aspects of the research experience while minimizing delays during the IRB approval process – giving the resident more time for data collection/analysis. The major project will be presented at Western States Conference, a national oncology organization meeting or an equivalent conference and written up in manuscript form. A list of project ideas will be generated from the preceptors and the resident is expected to select a project prior to starting the program.

    Publication: The resident will be required to write a manuscript suitable for publication by the end of their residency year. The purpose of this requirement will be the development of scientific writing and communication skills. The types of publishable literature can include any of the following types of manuscripts:

    • Case reports with a review of the literature
    • Primary research /original research
    • Medication Use Evaluation
    • Meta-analysis of a disease state or therapy
    • Review article


Staffing will be incorporated into the residency experience with weekend and weekday shifts that provide the resident with experiences in both inpatient and outpatient. The PGY2 residents will be asked to staff 16 weekends (which includes 1 minor holiday weekend) PLUS 1 major holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s). Inpatient staffing will be in a hospital setting and outpatient staffing will be at the cancer center infusion pharmacy. Some of the weekend staffing component maybe incorporated into weekday staffing as determined by residency director/preceptors. This would be staffing after rotation, one day per week, to allow the resident to gain more experience with chemotherapy order validation and to experience the differences between weekday and weekend staffing. The resident will get 13 paid days for holidays and 12 sick days for the academic year. Vacation time will be in accordance with GME rules and will be defined as 20 days of vacation PLUS 5 days for professional leave to attend meetings or conferences.

Professional meetings

The residents will have the opportunity to attend various professional meetings throughout the year. Residents receive an annual travel stipend that is variable based on available funding. In the past, residents have received a set stipend for the year which they can use at their discretion for registration, travel, accommodations, etc. Any costs that exceed the travel stipend will be the responsibility of the resident. Residents are encouraged to attend a specialty meeting (e.g. Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists Association (HOPA)). Attendance at conference to present their research is mandatory.